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      Developer says crowd at MB Home Show a sign of economic turnaround

      Myrtle Beach, S.C. - The Home Show at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center attracted a large crowd Saturday. With the huge turnout and loads of vendors, a local developer says it could be a sign the Myrtle Beach housing market is making a turnaround.

      Fred Coyne owns Westbridge Homes, a company that does everything from remodeling to building new homes. But when the housing crisis hit in 2008, he says they felt the effects, going from building five or six homes at a time to not needing any staff.

      "We went back to the point of it was me. I totally got the opportunity to go way back to my roots. Dad always said never forget where you came from, it turned out to be really good advice," said Coyne.

      But Coyne said over the last 12 months something started to change, buyers are starting to get more comfortable and confident. He said the change is even in the little things you see as you drive around the Grand Strand, dump trucks and cement trucks are all over the place.

      "We didn't see them for the last couple of years. Now we're seeing them more and more," he said.

      Total existing home sales are up 9% from January of last year according to the National Association of Realtors. That's why Coyne said there seems to be more and more people at the home show this year who aren't just there to look around.

      "Yesterday we had 10 or 15 people come up and say hey will you please call us," he explained.

      People are coming up to Coyne to talk about making new additions to homes or just starting from scratch.

      "It makes me feel very confident that we're moving forward," said Coyne.

      Coyne said while he is seeing signs of improvement, he thinks it will take some time before the housing market makes a complete turnaround in the Myrtle Beach area.